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Why Nissan Is Talking To Tesla Model S Owners 335

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-do-you-like-us-now? dept.
cartechboy writes "What do you do when you're the first to market with a mainstream item, and yet the competition seems to be a hotter commodity? Naturally you do your homework. That's exactly what Nissan is doing. With disappointing sales of its Leaf electric car, Nissan is doing the smart thing and talking to Tesla owners about their cars. One would assume this is in hopes of understanding how to better compete with the popular Silicon Valley upstart. The brand sent an email to Sacramento-area Model S owners with four elements ranging from general information and a web-based survey to asking owners to keep a driving diary and to come in for in-person interviews with Nissan staff. The question is: Is Nissan trying to get feedback on its marketplace and competition, or is the brand looking at either offering an electric car with longer range or planning to challenge Tesla with an upper end plug-in electric car?"
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Why Nissan Is Talking To Tesla Model S Owners

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  • by Kevoco (64263) on Monday February 24, 2014 @06:46PM (#46328493)

    My wife is a LEAF owner. In shopping for the LEAF, multiple Nissan dealers were dismissive about the vehicle as a passing fad, a toy, or just dumb. Several dealers didn't even stock one, let a lone a selection. One dealer's demo LEAF was parked behind other cars, under a tree, covered with bird crap.

    The LEAF requires much less service (no gas, no oil changes) while presenting a steep technology learning curve, and making the issue worse, by treating the LEAF as an outcast, dealers sell fewer and have even less reason to be enthusiastic.

    To understand why the Tesla is so hot while the LEAF is not, Nissan need look no further than their own dealer network. Tesla has not dealers, only showrooms, so none of the internal combustion versus electric hangups as the Nissan dealers.

    BTW, we did finally find a Nissan dealer that had a good attitude about the LEAF and we are satisfied customers.

  • by NReitzel (77941) on Monday February 24, 2014 @06:53PM (#46328587) Homepage

    Nissan might have more luck selling their expensive electric if the darn thing weren't sprung like an overstuffed haywagon. The suspension is so soft there is not a trace of road feel, and the power steering is so squishy it's like driving a virtual reality vehicle in a bang-em-up game.

    Not everybody who wants an electric wants it to feel like a Ford Explorer.

  • Re:Odd (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smack.addict (116174) on Monday February 24, 2014 @06:57PM (#46328625)

    I can't fathom why anyone who can afford a Tesla Model S would buy something else.

    Yes, it's electric. But it's also the best damn car on earth.

    The only thing Nissan could do to make me consider a Leaf is make it a clone of the Tesla. I don't think they are going to achieve it at the Leaf's price point.

    The Leaf's chief issue for its target market is range. And, as another posted, the Nissan dealers are Nissan's worst enemy in selling them.

  • by BradMajors (995624) on Monday February 24, 2014 @08:45PM (#46329813)

    NADA 2012 per dealership average profits: []

    New vehicle sales net profit: $60,000
    Service and parts department net profit: $310,000

All this wheeling and dealing around, why, it isn't for money, it's for fun. Money's just the way we keep score. -- Henry Tyroon